Fratelli has very Italian vibe—and no wonder, everyone working there is Italian. It is fun from the moment you walk in the door. I love the infectious spirit and joie de vivre of the Italians. (Is it ok to use a very French term to describe Italians?) The waiters are friendly, warm, smiling and efficient. The lively ambiance encouraged me to break out my very rusty Italian so I could join in the fun a little more. However the restaurant is still a bit disorganized–the guy who came in after me the first evening I ate here got his meal before I even got a glass of water—that will improve once they are open a little longer. As usual the Italians are quite charming. (When I complained a little about the wait I got a free glass of Proseco and of Sicilian Nero d’Avola. Maybe because I was taking notes? )
The older space on a side street close to the center has been redone in a modern, chic look. The owner is Jean-Christophe Vigne, who is French-Italian and who has lived around St Rémy for 25 years. Formerly a dentist, Jean-Christophe dreamed of taking his clients on a “trip to Italy.” He has succeeded. He has also included a terrace bar upstairs on the first floor, and offers some special fun evenings.
The food is delicious, everyone who goes there agrees. Wood-fired oven pizzas are very popular and are well-priced at around €12-14; there is a list of pizzas made daily, and they say if you are nice they might take special requests. There are 4-5 pastas at €11-16, a salad or two, eggplant parmesan, maybe a risotto, a charcuterie platter, a meat or fish dish from the wood burning oven. Lots of choices for vegetarians, fewer for real carnivores. While some ingredients are chosen locally, most come from Italian producers: Mozzarella di Bufala, Pecorino Romano, Parma hams, Mortadella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Gorgonzola. There are lunch specials as well.
The wine list is all Italian, ranging in price from €17 to €48; there is one white and one red by the glass for €4.
Fratelli was very crowded on the first Sunday I went there. I went back on Tuesday at 7:30 and it filled up quite fast again. This place really seems to fill a need in the area.
Fratelli is already a local hit. I consider myself quite fortunate because the restaurant is literally around the corner, less than a 1 minute walk, from my St Rémy apartment. I am sure I will soon try everything on the menu.
Open daily, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. but meals are served at standard French hours.
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